Posted on 27 September 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be brought down by the remaining supporting characters given that Selecia disappeared in the blue ether beforehand. Predictably, it comes down to Altair convincing herself that the world is worth saving and the conversation between Altair and Setsuna was really well done with both voice actresses going back and forth with their arguments about placing the blame on the world that was so cruel to Setsuna. There is a parallel between those two and how Bltiz choose to switch side when confronted with the opportunity to gain back the very reason for their motivation to end the world. As well, the transformation from the PPSh-41 machine gun to an actual violin is a visual symbolism of her ultimate choice to create and not destroy. As the far as the main plot goes, Re:Creators is finished as its antagonist goes happily off into sunset with her creator into their own world of adventure and fun. It’s not the best twist ending but I’m perfectly satisfied with how the series build itself up to that point and concluded it.

After everything’s said and done, the final episode wraps up with everyone having a celebratory meal, saying their goodbyes and reflecting on past sacrifices. The creations go back to their own fictional world but Meteora, due to the untimely death of her creator, which begs the question of what happened to Magane. Curiously absent from the final episode, I would infer that she would have lost her powers just like Meteora and go on to become a regular trolling schoolgirl. It’s not quite the ending for those who wanted to see justice be served for the murder of the shopkeeper and her own creator but I think it better to see her leave quietly than having a upbeat epilogue scene for her. The ending summarizes the points of the series in that creators will keep on creating even to the point where a creation, like Meteora comes full circle and end off the series with her own work of Re:Creators.

Re:Creators marks the third series that Studio TROYCA have made with Aldnoah.Zero and Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru being the first two. While their original mecha show was a wild ride of disappointment that really needs more time to flesh out its characters and concepts and the episodic nature of its investigative show took away from the overarching narrative, I felt that they succeed in having and executing an interesting premise while having a few flaws. The biggest glaring issue I had was the uneven pacing in regards to the infrequency of actions scene and mid-series lull of dealing with Sota’s underlying guilt and laying of the foundation for the Elimination Chamber Festival. Also, as Rei Ham (Writer of Re:Creators) regretfully mentioned in an interview, Mamika exited far too early in the show as she was probably one of the best characters arc by growing out of her naive magical girl persona. Her replacement of Hikayu wasn’t all that great despite the creators having fun with her backstory and power-ups. Finally, the 3D stilted animation of the mecha hasn’t been improved over their effort of Aldnoah.Zero and just cements the reality that 3D and mechs don’t mix (Knight of Sidonia is an exception). Aside from those quibbles, I enjoyed my time with Re:Creators over the past half year and looked forward to watching it every week. It looked nice, had that sweet sweet Sawano soundtrack and always had something interesting to say about the nature of artistic creation.


Posted on 3 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

As speculated last week, Sota and Magane comes in save the day and provide the ending twist to the climax of the Elimination Chamber Festival but not before a barrage of powers being thrown at Altair in an attempt to end her.

Not even taking a moment to mourn the loss of Selesia, our embattled creations uselessly throw themselves against an overpowered opponent who can literally undo plot points. Altair seems to have adopted Shunma’s philosophy of not completely wiping out creations for the entertainment of the story even though it would be tactically effective. It’s all part of the plan to have the birdcage gain enough acceptance although I don’t believe that having Selesia getting herself deleted was supposed happen. The surprise appearance of Charon threw a wrench into plans and costed the government side a creation and her super fighting robot. Aside from that speed bump, the trump card of Sirius is a fun concept in defeating Altair by having a copycat consume her. I like the simplified crude design of Sirius as the show even acknowledge her as a throwaway character of a plot device. Of course, that wouldn’t be enough to take her down with two more episodes to go as it doesn’t provide a good ending to the antagonist and is unsatisfactory to the main plot. Even the explanation of how Altair subvert their perfect plan is meta as she isn’t tied down to one creator because we, the audience, all feed into her backstory and powers because she never had a original backstory to begin with. While the creations have their own unique character, Altair is creator is us, the audience, a fourth wall breaking idea that has been executed here.

How does one stop a creation with the power of literally thousands of creators behind her OP abilities? By going back to the opening scene where Setsuna decided to be turned into human paste. Getting there is the probably ending point for the odd relationship between Sota and Magane seeing that she’s already at the airport about to get on a plane to go abroad and murderously troll more people. If you recall, the whole mess with Sota started out with Magane deducing the massive amount of guilt associated with Setsuna’s suicide which led to a huge creation fight. It come full circle for those two to be connected back to Setsuna abit through a different process and have a constructive outcome.

Audience acceptance has been huge part of Re:Creators as it powers the existences and abilities of its characters. The way show bypasses that fundamental basis for the final twist before the climax was really clever as the reverse causality power that Magane passed onto Sota had all the hallmarks of good foreshadowing and built up.The audience doesn’t accept this Meteroa’s Hail Mary but the audience does accept the power of reverse causality so the result is that the audience will accept Sota’s character. It’s really meta if you think about it. Now that Re:Creators has gone back to square one, we can get the core of the conflict with Altair and her angst towards the world. Though, this Setsuna is only a copy of her real creator and there is no power that is able to bring back the real dead people unless the show pulls that card out of its ass. Re:Creators will most likely have Altair comes to an understanding and go back into her world with a happy ending with Setsuna but there always room for a surprise.

Posted on 31 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

If you thought Re:Creators had some big plot moments over the last two weeks, this episode just straight up racks up the series’s biggest body count by wiping out three creations from the storyline. While the last episode had some hilarious fourth-wall breaking jokes mixed with in with the action, it’s all serious business here as Selecia’s and Alice’s come into their abrupt end. Starting off with Alice, she was truly the muscle-head that Meteora described in the recap episode with the way she got removed from existence. While she did eventually figure out that Altair was the culprit behind Mamkia’s death and had a half-decent betrayal plan, I can’t ignore the sheer stupidity of punching herself to death after experiencing the firsthand effects of reverse causality. Like Altair said, she isn’t the main character of this story and her second-rate ending really slam that fact home. If I was her creator, I would also be balling my eyes in the hallway at how my own creation would stupidly allow her quest of revenge go unfilled.

While having any creation be erased is a big deal in a show like this, having a pair of characters from the same story out in a blaze of glory is a very bold move. Before their demise, I was reminded of how similar Selecia acts to Mamkia’s fight at the bridge as she tried to play both sides before committing to death by suicide pact contasy of the Infinite Giga Machine’s repulsive wave. I would have like to see Charon to have more development behind his tiredness of fighting but with ten other creations, their creators and the audience already hogging the spotlight, it comes as no surprise that he comes and go within an episode. There was also the matter of Selesia’s professing her love for Charon as it felt kinda hollow as we don’t see the comradery that the in-universe light novel series builds up. At the very least, Selesia went out with a bang as opposed to the self-inficted death of Alice.

After everything has been said and done, three creations have removed from storyline along with two and a half super fighting robots. Altair now stands alone against the remaining forces but if her one-sided fight with Alice is any indication, it going to be a real rough ride to dislodge her from her goals of world destruction. The very nature of Altair’s powers are exponentially driven by her fan base and I’m just waiting for that part for her to pushes a power out of her ass and completely wipes the floor with everyone else. Perhaps Magane and Sota can do something with their own unique powers of creation and causality because all the conventional upgrades of Meteroa’s team isn’t doing jack shit. In any case, reaching this point where all the plotlines and buildup explodes into a cluster bomb of a mess has been quite a long journey but we’re finally getting everything that Re:Creators promised it would be.

Posted on 21 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

One of the major gripes I have with this series is its uneven presentation that has far too much exposition while lacking in the action department. In the eighteenth episode, it finally found its footing in balancing the exploratory themes of creativity, action scenes and comedic bits in a seamless transition as Re:Creators successfully sustain its momentum in its push towards the last few closing episodes. From Blitz’s defection to the hectic fight of Shou and the explosive entry of Charon, it did not let up in its twists nor epic moments of awesomeness. Of course, Yuuya’s creator gets the short end of the stick as his own creations decides to spoils his own flagship series in such a causal manner that is akin to Reiner’s underhanded reveal in Attack on Titan. It doesn’t stop there as even in its more fanservicey moments, it manage to say something about the nature of anime fans as Hikayu’s scandalous martial artist outfit shows how their willingness to accept ludicrous scenarios.

For once, talking with Magane doesn’t end in a reversal of causality that is detrimental for those on the receiving end. Sota, in particular, has matured quite a bit from being the otaku version of Inaho (Aldnoah.Zero) to having a backbone when conversing with the most twisted and manipulative creation of the show. Seeing him defends his dreams of becoming a creator makes him a far more likeable character than the secretive Sota of the mid-series. I’m quite curious in seeing what Sota drew in his own notebooks as it is obvious that it isn’t doodles of Altair or erotic stretches of Selesia (or it is?). In any case, the decision to release Hangaku back into Yuuya’s control and allow for Sota’s creations to translate into reality is really the surprise of episode. I doubt Magane did Sota a favour out of the goodness of her heart given her history of being a murderous troll. This moment of graciousness doesn’t redeem her lies and bloodshed in the slightest, but it does show the other side of the coin that is the fun-obsessed Magane.

With four episodes to go, it comes as no surprise that we have not reached the climax of Re:Creators just yet despite everything being literally lined up for Altair’s defeat. There is simply far too much time left in the series for that to happen and Charon still need to have his time in the spotlight. I find it perplexing that the three defecting creations didn’t bother to even inform the government forces of Charon and his massive robot. While Charon does have that menacing looking mech adorned in black and red accents, the combined arms of the other creations should be more than enough to bring down Altair and a Vogelchevalier clone. As one person on the internet once said, “one super fighting robot isn’t gonna make a difference”.  

Extra points for those who can figure who said that last line.

Posted on 17 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

If you are still remaining faithful to Re:Creators over the course of months on end, then this is the episode where all the buildups and exposition pays off in dividends with the grand opening of the ‘Elimination Chamber Festival’. Characters with long standing grudges square off, insert songs being played back-to-back, and Studio TROYCA really went all out with the visuals in serie’s longest sustaining and best fight so far. In spite of all the explosions, pretty lights and new powerful abilities, nothing, outside having Altair embracing Selecia from inside her cockpit, is surprising. None of the fights have resolved themselves although there are signs that there are much bigger twists to come like Alicetaria’s eventually betrayal and Magane’s continuous intrusion into Sota’s life.

While the first half satisfied that craving of action that has been sorely missing for the last two months, the second half had the best conversation between a creator and her creation. Within the initial nine creations introduced in the first half, Blitz is the final character to met up with his creator for a chat and this was probably the best out of them all as it provides some of the best insights into why a creator would subject their creation to terrible scenarios. Simply enough, the answer is for the sole enjoyment of the audience. Think of some of the most popular franchises out there like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Berserk, Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul and the insurmountable challenges and hardships within them. It is in these extremes where the audience finds their greatest enjoyment as characters we know and love go through their journey of suffering and ultimately triumph. In comparison, Altair’s motivations of revenge, as Suruga describes it to be a shallow fanfic bore out of resentment and anger, ,are actually quite basic once you get passed her dressed-up fancy speeches. Blitz isn’t cut from the same cloth as her, in spite of following Altair around for most of the series and being hellbent on following through with his destructive plan. There is something far deeper that a dedicated creator like Suruga has invested into Blitz and this is the exact method, with the stunning reveal of his daughter, in which to turn Blitz against his current master. The best part is that the crazy ride to Re:Creators finale is only beginning with plenty of surprises to come.

Posted on 3 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

After over a month and a half of talking heads, recaps, scheming and theorization, Re:Creators is finally on the cusp of having every creation throwing themselves into a massive team deathmatch complete with live performances, streaming and a raving fandom packed into a stadium.

Thus far, Re:Creators has largely managed to avoid their creations be subjected to the pitfalls of fanservice within the anime but this episode goes all out on the nudity with everyone going to the hotsprings. If you ever wanted to see what the creators and creations looks like underneath all those costumes, then this is the episode for you where all the tired tropes of hot springs episodes comes to its full realizations. The rest of the episode was forgettable as it only has the government’s representative drunken dominatrix crazy rant as its punchline.

The real meat comes in last half of the episode as everyone gets into their positions that is six months in the making for the big battle. Vogelchevalier finally comes back to Seleica and it going to be a giant brawl with two mecha on the side of the government against Alrair’s forces. The question becomes on whether on the various upgrades that the creators have augmented into their own creations are enough to defeat the God-like powers of Altair and the unpredictableness batshit craziness of Magane. I’m surprised that Alice is still sticking with Altair, given her maneuvering with Magane and the release of her own creator. Given that Altair already has these God-like powers of predicting the future through her tarot cards, it wouldn’t be a stretch to already have Alice’s plans already unraveled.

With six episodes left to go, the events of the Elimination Chamber will certainly not be the climax of the series but it looks like the agonizing slow pace of the last couple of episodes will finally pay off in a grand arena where everything comes together in a delightful merger of light, explosions and meta anime goodness.

Note: Episode 17 is very likely delayed this week due to scheduling issues like its awkward 22 episode format.

Posted on 19 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

This week’s episode didn’t have any action once again but there is a lot more movement on the main plot as each faction solidify their alliances and plan out their new moves.

As speculated last week, the latest creation has a snowball’s chance in hell in be competitive against every other creation as her only power is flashing her panties to seduce men. That doesn’t comes as a surprise since her source material is an X-Rated eroge ported over as an all-age version and with Mamika out of the picture, it’s up to Hikayu fill in her shoes with her  future magical powers via fan side release. I’m skeptical that there is enough time or compelling development to do that since it will just be a repeat of a naive kind-hearted girl coming to terms with the harsh reality of this world. Her creator doesn’t fare any better as his buck-tooth appearance and behavior towards creations leans heavily into the more unsavory end of the anime fandom. Out of all of the creators, he is truly a terrible human being.

As her creator speculates, Alice does something very out of character this episode and that is to seek out the help of Magane. For a creation that is pretty meat-headed and relies on brute to win the day, this is a radical departure from her ideology of honor and absolutes. Seeing the batshit insanity that is the money-bathing Magane trouncing around half-naked in a towel go along with her polar opposite is the sort of risk that Re:Creators needs to take if it wants a strong finish. With some incoming power-ups courtesy of her own creators and having Magane take part in  her ambiguous plans, this bores enough potential for a payoff that will definitely shake things ups as the series goes closer to its conclusion.

Blitz has always been an enigma with his backstory and reasons for staying on Altair’s side. His story has been now revealed to be a tragic and dark history with him killing his own daughter in order to prevent a catastrophe in a cyberpunk universe. It’s just that when the show try to link his backstory to Altair is when it gets a little creepy. As with Rui’s sudden transition from being a twat to a stewart defender of the real world, we miss all the nuisances and buildup to his confession to Altair and makes it seems rushed while coming out of the left field. It could have been a cool parallel story like something along the lines of Joel and Ellie’s twisted relationship in The Last of Us but Re:Creators really dropped the ball when it comes to those two.

Posted on 14 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

Re:Creators starts off it’s second half of its series with a brand new opening credits from Sawano using the two same singers of gravityWall. Titled as shØut, it takes the same melody as AL:Lu and closely follows the first opening in its presentation. I thought it was about the same quality as the first one with a bit more action like having fighter jets coming out of Meteora’s Gate of Babylon and explosions everywhere. What information can be gleaned is that Selesia will eventually get back her prized Vogelchevalier and that two more creations, in addition to Charon, will be joining the show. The first is apparently is Yuuya’s rival in which his sister was killed by our sword wielding stand user. This is going to be turn out to be very explosive as these two are going to butt heads as one seeks vengeance for a murdered family member. The second character is so bizarrely out of place in her normality as she seems to be a character from one of those generic romantic visual or light novels. Other than her warm and kind heart, I don’t see any powers that could stand toe-to-toe with Altair’s dance of swords or every other creations wielding their massive abilities. Re:Creators has surprised me before and I’m sure they will surprise me with her.

Unfortunately, it’s been nearly a month since anything really awesome has happened and since then, it’s just been mostly just theorizing and coming up with an elaborate plan to engage Altair and defeat her. Episode fourteen is no different with briefings and characters standing around talking to each other. It does answers several questions like having Altair being deliberately written to be weaker and confronts a few loopholes that the audience might have thought to exploit. I didn’t really enjoy all the info dumping and for the rest of the episode, the creative process takes center stage in how each creators approach their craft from being on a salary working for a client with specific needs to being utterly devoted to maintaining the artistic purity  of their work and totally independant. People like Kentaro Miura, of Berserk fame, comes to mind when it comes to telling a story that does not compromise in its quality, subject matter, or release schedule that sometimes takes years between the release of chapters. I was annoyed that they decided to omit the details of Sota’s little plot insertion as the episode was already so dry. At the very least, a date is given to us about when the grand event is to occur, which happens to exactly fall on when the sixteenth episode is aired. I expect it to be awesome because the last few episode certainly haven’t been given all the buildup that has been happening.

Posted on 3 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

Seeing the previews for this week’s episode, it was obvious that the main narrative was going to be taking a break with a recap episode. The question is if this was worth watching at all. Thankfully, Re:Creators pulls off an above average clip show that actually has some new animation, is aware of the loathed nature of recaps, and pokes fun at itself.

As most recaps show are usually all recycled footage, I was surprised at the amount of new animation like seeing Altair get her ass completely shredded by an alternate sexualized version of Meteora. While that was very entertaining to see, I thought that her alternate personality could still use a bit more spark as her mannerism didn’t match with her new physical appearance. The nonlinear format of showcasing characters breaks up the tired template of reliving though the series in twenty minutes while Meteora trashes-talks them. There is actually some new backstory information like Yuuya’s past as he was part of a special unit before he murdered a whole bunch of people and became the antagonist of his own universe. Finally, the ending scene is completely meta as Meteora breaks the fourth wall to kindly explain the reasons for a recap episode and puts to rest any concerns about its quality. I don’t think this will turn into the shining example of being the best recap episode ever but it still worth a watch if you’re in Re:Creators as does a thing or two to keep things interesting.

Posted on 29 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

Re:Creator’s greatest flaw flares up again as it spends yet another episode standing around in a room capping off Sota’s tale of guilt and formulating a plan to cage in Altair for a final showdown. This show is fascinating with its thought-provoking ideas and unique premise but I just wish it didn’t take so long in getting to the actiony bits. The conclusion to Setsuna’s story dragged on into its ugly conclusion and it could all been explained in the previous episode. His acceptance of responsibility could have started off the episode instead. It doesn’t help that the plan to defeat was just a bunch of talking heads in a room. I did like the fanmade Youtube videos of Altair and if they would have some more animated graphs and charts, it would have made it more easier and fun to understand.

The most interesting part of the episode was certainly Alice coming to the long overdue realization that Altair, not Meteora, was the one who killed off Mamaika. Those who were frustrated at her unrelenting zeal to save her own fantasy world got to finally see some substantial growth to her character. With Mamika out of the picture, having Alice taking on her role as the cliche archetypes turned into enlightened creation is the next logical narrative step. I’m glad to see that Sota’s words go further than being a delaying tactic by planting that doubt into her mind. The conversation between Alice and her creator was a really fitting end in that the hero the one who can make the decisions where the writer can only makes the ends meet. I don’t think that same argument is going to work for Blitz though. His motivation for following Altair might be that he is tired of living after the death of her daughter and finding out that his whole world is just someone’s fictional creation is enough to have him wish for the world’s destruction. With his creator being one of the main architects of this new plan to ensnare Altair, meeting her is going to explosive to say the least.

With Charon in the picture now, things are going to start to complicating very fast as this is the first time two creations have come from the same franchise. Selesia will have the benefit of an entire cour worth of character development along with her creator which could turn this into Prodigal Son situation where the father has to deal with two very different offsprings.

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